Recently our founder, Craig Danehy, sat down with Loop Brain Founder, Heather Newton. We are so lucky to be partnered with such an innovative company in the healing space. Here is a look into our conversation:
“The thing that most grounds me is healing….I am most alive and most myself when I am providing tools and education or connections to others in the healing profession to someone who is sick or in pain.”
What led you to establish your practice and what are you most excited about right now in your field?
My journey started about 30 years ago. I owned a successful construction company in my 20’s but it didn’t fulfil me. I knew I wanted to find a career that involved healing people so I became certified as a home health aide and, in the off season, I would send my crews out on jobs while I took care of terminal cancer patients in their houses. By the time I reached my 30’s I knew I needed to leave construction and fully immerse myself as a healing professional, so I sold my business and went to massage school. That was the point in my life that ignited my passion around my own wellness journey and was the first step to what we are today at Tru Functional Health. We began as Integrated Wellness Systems back in 1992 which, at it’s peak, had 15 massage therapists and 3 offices throughout the region. I did more than 55,000 orthopedic massages during that time period and it made me realize how many people were suffering. I was always looking for other ways that I could help on their path to wellness. I then began to offer Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy and it opened up a whole new level of healing for my clients. At that point, I reduced the number of massage therapists I had and focused solely on hyperbaric oxygen therapy, orthopedic and medical massage. Witnessing so many people regain their vitality with that combination, I began to dig deeper and earned certifications in nutrition, functional health mastery and organic testing. This allowed me to bring in Ozone Therapy, PEMF, IV Nutrition and other modalities. I also found amazing mentors, and, with their help, I am now able to see people with more complicated diagnoses and design a program that works for them. I’ve also added a ‘super human protocol’ which includes light therapy, exercising with oxygen (EWOT), cold plunge, hydrogen therapy, ozone therapies and other targeted applications.
All of this leads back to brain health, vitality and quality of life. Every person has a health journey — I like to call a recipe — which is made up of what you eat and drink, how you talk to yourself, the people you surround yourself with, the exercise program you choose, the air you breathe. It all adds up to how you feel and your level of vitality.
Whether you live with past traumas, specific genetic imprints, or other health issues, everyone has the ability to make changes and improve their vitality, energy and mental clarity. We can be helpful with lots of tools at Tru Functional Health, but we can’t do it all which is why our partnership with Loop Brain Health and other places in the community is so important. I believe it is a team effort, but it must begin with a person’s desire to change what isn’t working and develop a better health recipe.
OK, now to answer the second part of your question – what am I most excited about? Well, besides life in general, the thing that gets me out of bed in the morning is knowing that we have the ability to reverse our age at the cellular level. For me, it isn’t about how you look as you age, it’s about your vitality and your ability to take care of yourself. No one wants to wither away as they age and rely on others to take care of them. We all have the ability to adopt a health recipe that gives us strength, vitality and quality of life into our 80s, 90s and even 100’s. It’s almost like a second journey. The first journey is really understanding ourselves and our bodies, the second journey is deciding where to go with it. That’s the longevity piece. Once you’ve equipped yourself with tools and knowledge, you don’t need to reply on everyone around you telling you what to do. You know how to best take care of yourself and maintain your strength and vitality. For me, that is beyond exciting.
What is your favorite way to connect with others?
If you ask my wife, Karen, she’ll tell you that being at Tru is my favorite way to connect. She’s not wrong, I wake up jazzed every single day and I’m excited to get to work and help people heal. I also love to educate people about how to take care of themselves and watch them get excited as they gain strength and move forward. When I meet people who are on the same wavelength (yes, I move at a fast pace!) and who get as excited about their health journey as I am, I absolutely love that. It’s so energizing for me.
Having said all of that, my absolute favorite way to connect with others is over a meal with family and friends. I love to go out to eat and socialize and we love to host people at our home. My family is so integral in my life. We have 14 people on my family group chat and we are constantly in touch to share life’s ups and downs. When I face challenges in my life, I think about it as going through a pruning process. Often, we when we are on the other side of something hard, some people and things remain while others have been pruned away. This gives space for new growth and allows us to truly appreciate the connections we have in the present moment. Being in the present is key to connection. We can’t connect in a meaningful way if we are reliving past suffering or anxious about what’s to come.
Being completely present with those who mean the most to me is something I value more and more as time goes on.
What are the key things you do to take care of your brain and body?
I have a health recipe but it isn’t the same thing every day or every week. Our bodies need to be taken care of consistently but they also need to be shaken up once in a while. I blend all of the tools we have here at Tru along with a healthy diet, good water, supplements, connection to a higher power, massage, acupuncture, neurofeedback, social connections, exercise and I make sure to mix it up regularly.
Neurofeedback is actually a great example of one way I mix things up. My mom died back in April and you (Loop) were so helpful to me as I was recovering from having her in our home and the loss I felt.
I was irritated, I wasn’t sleeping, I was totally unable to focus. I did neurofeedback with you for several months during that time and it was so helpful to me.
I am 61 years old and I have a ton of energy. I’m enrolled in 2 certification programs, I run the business, have a loving relationship with my wife and family. That wouldn’t be possible without my health recipe. One thing I want to dig into more this year and in the future is what I call the happiness factor. There is a gap between being driven and having purpose (which I have) and being truly happy. I guess maybe joy is a better word than happy. I’m happy, for sure, but I have people in my life who exude joy in a way that makes me crave it. It’s a tool I’d like to develop for myself.
What is one habit you have firmly established that helps you and what is one thing you would like to make a habit that you haven’t been able to yet?
I feel like I have a ton of habits that I’ve already described so I’m going to move to part two of your question. Yoga is something I’d really like to incorporate into my life because it is physical, mental, emotional and soulful. When I’ve done yoga in the past, it’s brought me a lot of peace – and joy, actually. But it takes a lot of time. For me, it’s easier to go into the sauna or lie on the PEMF mat than it is to establish a consistent yoga practice. I’ve done yoga in studio classes before but my desire now is to incorporate yoga into my life individually so that it becomes part of my mind, body and spirit.
Yoga helps your brain, your nervous system, your digestive system, the physical components of your body and it helps you stay younger longer. It literally incorporates all of the things I believe are most important and it’s a habit I’d most like to incorporate into my life right now.
When do you feel most grounded and what are some practices that help you get there?
I feel like what I am supposed to say here is that walking in the woods barefoot or sitting by the ocean or being with my kids is most grounding to me. And those things are wonderful but if I’m really being honest, the thing that most grounds me is healing. Healing others and healing myself.
When I am at Tru helping people heal, it allows me to feel like the gifts that were given to me in this life are being used and nothing in the outside world affects me.
I am most alive and most myself when I am providing tools and education or connections to others in the healing profession to someone who is sick or in pain.
It took me many, many years to say that I am a healer. It felt egotistical and bold to me. What I now know is that I have been given a gift from God and that it is my duty to use it and share it others. I know there is a higher power behind all of this because there is simply no way I could do what I do by myself. It doesn’t matter if it’s a 3 year old who has Lyme Disease or a 10 year old with Autism Spectrum Disorder or a person going through a mid-life emotional crisis or a caregiver of spouse or aging parent. We see all of those people at Tru and they all need healing. And, because of the environment we’ve created here, we can not only heal people, can offer solutions and/or avenues for them to get healthy. To me, that is love and it is without a doubt what makes me feel most grounded.